Real Surreal: Selections From the Whitney Museum of American Art 

When: Through Oct. 13

Real Surreal: Selections From the Whitney Museum of American Art at the Frist

Including a selection of art created between the 1920s and the 1950s, this new exhibition at the Frist demonstrates how the groundbreaking work of European surrealists influenced the work being made in our own country in the middle of the 20th century. Featuring 60 paintings, photographs and prints, Real/Surreal attempts to pinpoint a place in history when American artists who were concerned with remaining faithful to a subject’s observable nature began to reach deeper, creating works that embraced imagination and the subconscious under the influence of their pioneering peers across the pond, including René Magritte and Salvador Dali. Following the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl — and amid the ongoing carnage of two World Wars — American artists like Federico Castellón and Andrew Wyeth were no longer satisfied to capture only the light and shadow on the surface of our lived lives, opting instead to examine the darker places that had come to define a people and a country that seemed to have lost their innocence in the industrial age. I predict that Man Ray and Edward Hopper will steal this show. I also predict that this will be the most important museum exhibition in the city this summer. JOE NOLAN


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